As you finish your last few assignments, you can probably already smell the turkey and pumpkin pie at home in the oven. With the fall semester soon coming to a close, you are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Returning home for holiday break can be exciting, yet tough, for some college students. Once you have become accustomed to living on campus and making your own decisions, it may be hard to slip back in to family life. With an abundance of food, holiday events, finals on the horizon, and living under your parents’ roof again, break can be very stressful. Try these tips to help you survive this holiday season:
- Make time for everyone- It can be difficult to make plans with everyone you want to see over break. Your friends may get off at different times or might be traveling to visit their family in other states, making it difficult to have concrete plans. Talk with your friends and planning ahead before you head home is a great way of making sure time is set aside. Also, make sure to set aside time for your family. Now that you are in college, it is that much more important to honor family traditions!
- Stay proactive- Once you are away from school, it is easy to put schoolwork on the back burner. Try to set aside some time during break to work on assignments or study for that final you are worried about. Stay ahead of the game even during Thanksgiving break, so you can end the semester on a good note.
- Balance- The holidays are a time to eat grandma’s pies and drink eggnog with your loved ones by the fireplace. While it’s good to treat yourself to some delicious holiday food this break, balancing meals is a good technique to keep you from going overboard on the pies, cakes, and cookies. At a holiday party, you can easily be pressured into trying every goodie the host throws at you. Remember that it is okay to tell them “No thanks, I’m full”, or “maybe I’ll have a piece of that pie later”.
- Keep up with exercise- It can be easy to put off your normal exercise routine once you are on break. Just like you do while you are at school, try to include a quick workout in your busy schedule. There are a ton of exercises you can even do in the comfort of your own home! Ask a family member or friend to join in with you; that way you can enjoy quality time with them and take care of your body!
- Mindful eating- Last, but not least, make sure you enjoy what you eat during this break. Take time to savor the flavors of the season and appreciate every bite. So many of these traditional foods, such as turkey, cranberries, and stuffing, are foods that we only get to enjoy during this time of the year! So slow down as you eat and appreciate all the food on your plate. This will help you recognize when you are full and reduce the likelihood of mindless eating.
Remember, this is the time of the year for traditions and enjoying the company of family and friends. Follow these tips and survive this Thanksgiving break effortlessly by catching up with loved ones, enjoying great food, and most importantly, enjoy being home again stress-free!
Kara Andrews is a sophomore at Syracuse University majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics, minoring in Gerontology. She plans to become a Registered Dietitian after graduation.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons